A crystal chandelier hanging in a historic Burnley hall has been damaged after it was dropped by blundering workmen.
The ornate piece at the 16th Century Towneley Hall smashed to the floor during routine maintenance in an incident reminiscent of a famous Only Fools and Horses episode.
Red-faced council officials said there was only “slight damage” to the half-century old chandelier which is one of four hanging in the Grade I listed building.
It is believed the chandelier in the Great Hall was being winched up by workmen, who had been changing a light bulb, when it slipped.
The incident is reminiscent of the BBC sitcom’s “Touch of Glass” episode where Del Boy and Rodney Trotter are hired to clean some priceless chandeliers in a country mansion – but accidentally smash one.
Aired in December 1982, it was the first Only Fools and Horses episode to top 10 million viewers. Towneley Hall’s chandelier has now been taken away for repairs and several of the arms are believed to have broken off.
Simon Goff, head of Green Spaces and Amenities at Burnley Council, said: “During a routine bulb change on the chandelier in the Great Hall at Towneley, slight damage occurred and the chandelier has been removed for repair and cleaning.
“We will also take the opportunity to re-wire the chandelier and it will be returned as soon as possible.”
He added: “The care and conservation policy for the museums’ collections is followed at all times whilst carrying out routine work.”
Coun. Roger Frost, who is also a member of Burnley Civic Society, said: “It is a great pity that this has happened. People recognise it as an integral part of the entrance hall to Towneley.
“I hope something can be done to repair the chandelier. It is a really impressive piece.”